The Hunting Ground

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I just watched the documentary The Hunting Ground on Netflix and it was amazing. As someone who has been sexually assaulted, and raped twice, it really hit home for me. Honestly watching the documentary was terrifying. Terrifying because of how rampant a problem it is, not that I didn’t know, but hearing their stories, and seeing how poorly College Universities handled it was sickening. It makes me not want my kids to go to a college one day, because I would hate for my kid to have the same fate as me.

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I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia and I somewhat reported what Peter did to me. I talked to a therapist who was extremely helpful to me through the situation, and when going to the person who handles reports, she explained to me what would happen if I ended up reporting through the school or through the police. I know that if you report through SCAD it protects them, and when if reporting to the police I believe they don’t reveal that the student went to SCAD because it’s a private college. Personally I think that’s stupid. I went to SCAD and yes, it was a SCAD senior at the time who sexually assaulted me, but it wasn’t on campus but at his apartment. I ended up not reporting Peter, as you know if you’ve read my blog.

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I did end up reporting Monster, the boyfriend who raped me, a year after it happened. He went to GCSU (Georgia College and State University) in Milledgeville, GA. I remember reporting was not fun. The police officer was a man, and I could tell how skeptical he was of me reporting. He asked why I waited and I told him it was because I thought no one would support me, and at the time I didn’t have anyone who would come with me to do it. Milledgeville is a three hour drive from Savannah, so it’s a long trek to go alone, especially when I could have run into Monster… In the room was the officer, myself, and a person from the university who handles cases within the university. In the end the police didn’t convict. They said they didn’t have sufficient evidence. The school however said they were still looking into it. I remember, and still have, the letter I got from the school saying they didn’t find sufficient evidence. I do have to wonder if they talked to any of Monsters friends who were there that night who witnessed how drunk I was and the fact that I had a flashback and I couldn’t walk…

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When I reported Owen to the Savannah Chatham County Police, that was a completely different experience. I remember going there with Ramone and the woman at the desk was very supportive as I was breaking down crying waiting to talk to an officer. Ramone explained to the desk officer why I was breaking down, because my parents told me not to report. The woman told me I was doing the right thing. Eventually we saw an officer and he took down my statement and said he would pass it onto the sexual assault officer and I eventually got a call from that officer a couple days later. He again took my statement and worked with me. We did a recorded phone call and of course Owen had known I reported and played as if nothing happened that night. The officer told me he would do what he could and still investigate after that. He called the Rape Crisis in Savannah since I was in a suicidal state after that phone call. I went to Andy’s apartment where Quick Silver was also at. That night was terrifying and sad. Andy and Quick Silver kept me from doing anything to myself and helped me through the night.

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The officer lied to me, I believe. My police professor at the college I go to now told me that a recorded phone call, if the perp denies anything happened then the case is ended. So I was pissed to know that my officer gave me false hope. I wish he was straight with me and told me there was nothing else he could do.

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I obviously am being more open about my experience with my assaults in this post, and that’s because I want to be. Before I was scared. I mean, why do you think my blog is anonymous. I fear the repercussions of standing up for myself against these men. I fear what people will think of me if they knew who I really was.

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Cody, India, Ramone, Quick Silver, and Andy are the only ones who gave me the reaction I was hoping for after telling them. My sister obviously told me it wasn’t my fault. Cody said the same thing and cried with me and held me and told me he couldn’t believe anyone could do such terrible things to me and that he wished he could hurt them in my defense. Ramone was horrified when I told him and he took me to the station, gave me the courage and support I needed to be able to report. Quick Silver told me that Owen raped me and reporting was my choice. Andy got angry and was about to go defend my honor. No one had shown anger for me when I told them except for Andy and Cody. Most just blamed me or asked why I did what I did, or what could I have done differently, or was I sure it was rape. Those were people I thought were my friends.

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For those who are reading this and have been through similar situations I am sorry. I wish that rape and assault could end and not exist. It is so prominent in our culture and it makes me angry. That is why I am posting and being open. This documentary made me so angry to see all these women and hear their stories and know how terribly the colleges handled it. If anyone ever needs to reach out or talk, I’m here to listen. Seriously, my email is on the side of my site, feel free to shoot me an email if you need someone to talk to. I know how crappy and terrible it is to go through such a scary experience. I know how scary PTSD can be. I’ve been through it and still sometimes suffer from it. But there is hope and recovery is possible. Also, I’ve written this before, but those of you have gone through this…you are not a victim but a survivor. It takes tremendous courage and strength to keep going after such a traumatic violation. Especially when people turn on you. So know that you are not alone and you are strong. I believe in all of you and know that you can get through this.

XOXO Anna

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